I'll Never Write a Novel

The Memoir of a Personal Essayist OR Confessions of a Theatre Widow

Monday, May 02, 2016

Per Ardua

I have no idea why, but the phrase, "Per Ardua" popped into my head at bedtime with the kids. It had been a little bit of an emotional afternoon/evening for a variety of reasons and getting all settled in was tricky, but we got it done. I have a love/hate relationship with bedtime. There is a lot of magic and a lot of drama. Kids sometimes rise to the occasion, and sometimes collapse under the weight. Same goes for the parents.
But all through the last of the nighttime rituals I kept thinking "Per Ardua." A phrase hung on something from my youth. It was about more than bedtime. It was a message. I finally sat down and as I typed it, I remembered where I know if from, The McEntee Clan coat of arms!
It means, "Through Struggle," and is often followed by the phrase, "To the Stars" (ad astra). I thought about what my family has been through, and it all kind of made sense. And it also reminded me of my favorite verse of the Bible, Romans 5, an excerpt here from verses 3-5. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
I recently wrote that I had a pretty blissful childhood. And I did. But, as in any garden, the roses do wilt. I love my beautiful garden in all of the seasons. And I appreciate the struggles that build from season to season.
We have seen some struggle. It has given us endurance, character, and hope. I have seen what it is to make it through the struggle to the stars. Per Ardua.